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For the week of April 26 through May 2, 2000

20 Years Ago

From April/May 1980 issues of the
Idaho Mountain Express

"Lester the Arrester" dies

Former Ketchum City Marshal Les Jankow—for 15 years the only law in town—died April 7, 1980 after a sudden illness in Twin Falls. He was 65. Military graveside rites were held April 10, 1980 in Ketchum Cemetery with Chaplain E. Weston Scott presiding.

Known as "Lester the Arrester," Jankow was one of the most beloved and respected figures in Ketchum. He was the city’s only full-time employee for many years after he was hired in 1953 as the city marshal.

With only a part-time clerk, no deputies and no radio in his car, Jankow was informed of trouble in town by a red light on top of the Alpine Café (now Whiskey Jacques) on Main St.

In addition to his 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week duties as city marshal, Jankow also did the street work—hauling gravel, grading and doing anything that needed to be done.

Sometimes he combined jobs.

Jankow arrived at one arrest in the front loader he had been using to do street work. Because his car was at the jail, he loaded the offender into the bucket, raised it and drove the chagrined 20-year-old to the lock-up.

Back in the days when Ketchum was a small town and people knew each other well, Jankow seem to know everybody. He was able to stop most trouble before it started.

But ingenuity in handing troublemakers was part of Jankow’s one-man style.

Louie Mallane, proprietor of Louie’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, said he remembered one night when a fight broke out at the Sawtooth Club, a Main St. bar which at the time featured go-go dancers. Jankow had been out Warm Springs and arrived at the scene after the brawlers had departed. Undaunted, Jankow surveyed the blood on the floor, went to the hospital in Sun Valley and arrested the fighters who had gone there for treatment.

"In the days when I was city marshal," Jankow once said, "we didn’t have strict rules that judges put out today. For persons who were breaking the law, a policeman had to use his own judgment on whether or not they were guilty."

Jankow first came to Ketchum in 1943 as a patient in the U.S. Navy convalescent hospital in Sun Valley. He had been wounded during service with the U.S. Marines "Carlson’s Raiders" assaulting ammunition dumps on Pacific islands.

Survivors included his wife, the former Iris Lease of Ketchum, who ran the State of Idaho Liquor Dispensary in Ketchum for many years after her husband’s death.

Sawtooth Auto technicians

In an advertisement, the Sawtooth Auto Sales service department of Hailey singled out its technicians, boasting 151 years of experience.

They were Steve Dick, Mike Hamlin, Bill Roberson, Des Rady, Gerry Follett, Randy Bird, Rusty Baird, Robby Wood, Mike Williams, Neil Shurtz and Lee Jones.

Masseur "Dutch" Perigo

Sun Valley Lodge masseur Gail "Dutch" Perigo, 56, has throughout his life recognized the value of innovate health techniques. From 1973-1980 he has practiced him on clients at the resort, working seven days a week during the season in a room near the Sun Valley Lodge pool.

A native of Evansville, Ill., Perigo attended the College of Swedish Massage in Chicago from 1949-51 and then returned to his hometown to work as an assistant in a health club there. The practice of massage wasn’t in great demand at the time, so Dutch developed volleyball, handball and exercise programs while giving massages.

In 1957 he went to work in Billings, Mont. There he turned the YMCA there upside down.

He introduced jogging to music. He tested hearts with a machine and measured fat and performed step tests on a bench.

"I did all this before it became popular," said Dutch. "I was considered a nut."

Perigo claims he introduced jogging in three different states—Montana, Wisconsin and Boise. While working at the Boise YMCA, he coached and led an Idaho team to a marathon championship. He taught massage to blind students.

Coming to Sun Valley Lodge in 1973 was a chance for Perigo to concentrate on massage, only, for the first time in his life. He investigated the mental and spiritual effects of exercise, trying to encourage the total well-being of the client. Holistic health became a big Perigo priority.

Bottom line, however, is that Perigo enjoys the people and the work. He affectionately refers to the ski crowd as "The Army," because they all get up at the same time, eat at the same time, ski, and then want their massages at the same time.

Haggling over transit money

The city of Ketchum continued its negotiations with the city of Sun Valley over funding for the valley’s mass transit system, called "The Bus."

At the root of the haggling was Ketchum asking Sun Valley to contribute more than its 50% share to support "The Bus." And the prospect of the transit system sustaining a $35,000 loss running on its regular schedule, without any cutbacks.

Arguing that Sun Valley collects more money in option taxes because it has large convention facilities, Ketchum city administrator Jim Jaquet said the newly-enacted option tax proceeds failed to meet original projections in his city.

Last winter, he said, Sun Valley collected $169,679 in option tax revenue. Ketchum collected $112,559. Ketchum suggested that the city’s respective contributions should be in the same approximate proportions, in other words, 60% for Sun Valley and 40% for Ketchum.

Sun Valley Mayor Dick Heckmann countered with the argument that Ketchum is spending option tax dollars on projects like buying a new city hall. He said he didn’t understand how the city could justify using the tax revenues for capital expenditures.

The back-and-forth continued between Jaquet and Heckmann until a sandpile, of all things, became a negotiating tool.

A Sun Valley official noted that the city’s sanding trucks must be kept indoors in the winter to prevent the sand from freezing in the trucks at night. The city is looking for a place to store those trucks.

Ketchum Mayor Jerry Seiffert suggested that Sun Valley could leave its trucks outdoors and use Ketchum’s heated sand pile near the street department headquarters along Warm Springs Rd.

The sand is piled on a cement pad heated by water pumped by hot springs. It’s ready to go for slick-road sanding at any time.

A surprise wedding

Participants in the second annual Peter Rabbit Relays/Easter Decathlon at Eagle Creek were greeted by a surprise spring snowfall and another surprise—the wedding of relay organizers Patti Hurst and Peter Ahrens.

The 100-plus partygoers were shocked and stunned when Dan Alban presided over the wedding of Hurst and Ahrens.

The wedding was the first scheduled event, but it was quickly followed by three-legged races, obstacle courses, ski jumps and Easter egg hunts.

Winning relay team consisted of Beth Duke, Sean McCoy, Diane McElroy and Jessie Reeves. Jeanie Thoren took home the Klara Klutz Easter Bonnet award. Dan Walla won the coveted Mr. Toad Trophy. And the Good Egg Awards went to Marilyn Gregg, Tom Denker, Robin Bosworth and post-function host Jim "Chopper" Morton.

Gardening tips from experts

For the past 23 years, Joe Shurtz and his wife Lela have been raising flowers and vegetables at their house behind the Homelite Chain Saw Service shed, just below Warm Springs Rd. in Ketchum.

Their 25-foot by 60-foot garden plot is a Shangri-La of raspberries, violas, sweet peas, beans and zucchini.

Lela raised seven children on this homegrown produce.

Joe has earned a reputation for sharpening his customers’ chain saws, then sending them away with bags of surplus potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes.

They said frost is the most dangerous enemy early in the growing season. They identified moths, grasshoppers and robins as the most troublesome area pests.

In fact, Joe takes direct action against the moths—going after them with an old-fashioned butterfly net. Lela does her part by sprinkling a little wood ash on cabbage and broccoli after sprinkling, to stop the moths from laying eggs in the vegetables.

It’s not that hard to grow a garden, if you’re willing to spend the time, Joe said.

He said, "Ninety percent of raising a garden is working on it and learning."


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Copyright © 2000 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.